Ahead of Ganeshotsav, BJP on Friday wrote to Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal demanding financial help for setting up artificial ponds in a bid to encourage devotees not to visit seashores for immersion of idols.
BJP corporator Bhalchandra Shirsat said that so far, no financial provision has been made for creating artificial ponds this year. “This is important as amid Covid-19 pandemic, people should be encouraged to use artificial ponds for immersion. If BMC does not provide financial help, BJP will use party funds to set up artificial ponds,” he added.
Shirsat demanded that BMC should create artificial ponds in every ward.
This year, the 10-day Ganeshotsav will begin from September 10. Last year, BMC had increased the number of artificial ponds five-fold – from 32 in 2019 to 167 – considering the pandemic.
Owing to Covid-19, the BMC had in 2020 asked people living in the periphery of the sea – about 1 to 2 km – to immerse idols in the sea while others should make use of artificial ponds. Also, residents living in containment zones and sealed buildings were asked to immerse idols in the mandap itself by creating artificial ponds. Officials said that these restrictions are likely to continue this time too.
Also continuing with last year’s restrictions, the government has asked people to ensure that idols worshipped in public places are of 4 ft in height while those in households are of 2 ft.